The message of the vine and the branches brings before us the importance of fruitfulness in the Christian life, and the truth that this is the result, not of human achievement but abiding in Christ. The branches that bear fruit are believers who will be cleansed or primed so that they might bear more fruit. God’s instrument of cleansing is his Word. The branches that do not bear fruit are non-believers or pretenders who will be cut off from the vine and cast away. The emphasis in the passage is that fruitfulness comes from abiding in Jesus Christ.